Apple Panna Cotta with Apple Jelly, Glazed Apple Tart, Apple Crumble and Apple Parfait. This is our signature dessert and a great way to present apples when they're in season. The idea is to take your taste buds on a journey of lots of different textures and flavours. We call it The Orchard after Co. Armagh.
- 2 gelatine leaves
- 200 ml (7fl oz) cream
- 100 ml (3 1/2fl oz) milk
- 50 g (2oz) caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, split in half and seeds scraped out
- 50 ml (2fl oz) apple coulis
- 2 gelatine leaves
- 200 ml (7fl oz) apple coulis
- 100 g (4oz) ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed if frozen
- a little plain flour, for dusting
- 1 small eating apple, such as granny smith
- 50 g (2oz) caster sugar
- 50 g (2oz) butter
- 1 tblsp apricot jam
- 50 g (2oz) plain flour
- 30 g (1 1/4 oz) butter
- 4 tblsp caster sugar
- 1 bramley apple, peeled, cored and diced
- 2 tblsp freshly pressed apple juice
- apple parfait, to serve
- salted butterscotch sauce, to serve
- apple gel, to serve
- spun sugar curls, to decorate
- dried split vanilla pods, to decorate
- 2 eating apples, cored and diced (skin still on)
- 1 vanilla pod
- 300 ml (1/2 pint) freshly pressed apple juice
- squeeze of lemon juice
- To make the apple jelly, soak the gelatine in a bowl of water for 10 minutes to soften, then gently squeeze dry. Heat the apple coulis in a small pan and stir in the gelatine. Mix well until the gelatine has dissolved. Divide among 6 x 200ml (7fl oz) pudding basins. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour to set, or overnight is fine.
- Once the jellies are set, make the panna cotta. Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of water for 10 minutes to swell, then gently squeeze dry. Place the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla seeds in a pan. Bring to the boil, then take the pan off the heat and stir in the squeezed gelatine and apple coulis. Strain the mixture into a jug. Leave to cool, then pour on top of the set apple jellies in the pudding basins. Cover with clingfilm. Place on a tray and chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight is best.
- To make the tarts, preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5). Unroll the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and cut into six 8.5cm x 3.5cm x (3 1/2in x 1 1/2in) rectangles. Prick with a fork, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Cut the apple into quarters and remove the core. Slice each apple quarter very thinly and arrange on the puff pastry rectangles in an overlapping layer, leaving a small border around the edge of each one so that they’re able to rise.
- Sprinkle evenly with the caster sugar and place a small knob of butter in the centre of each one. Bake for 10–12 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Just before the apple tarts are ready, heat the apricot jam in a small pan or in the microwave. Remove the cooked tarts from the oven and quickly brush each one with a little of the jam. Set aside at room temperature until needed.
- Place all the ingredients in a pan and cook for 5–10 minutes, until softened. Leave to cool slightly, then place in a food processor. Blend to make a smooth purée, then pass through a sieve and place in an airtight container. Store in the fridge until needed and use as required.
- Note: This can be made up to 1 week in advance.
- Meanwhile, to make the apple crumble, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Place the flour in a bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs, then stir in 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Place the diced apple into a small pan over a medium heat with the apple juice and sprinkle over the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
- Allow to cook for 2–3 minutes, until the apple is just tender. Divide the poached apples among 6 x 20ml ovenproof dishes and sprinkle the crumble on top. Bake for 8–10 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown.
- To serve, dip the panna cotta and jelly moulds in a bowl of warm water for 5–10 seconds to help them unmould. Invert onto a plate with the apple tart, apple crumble and apple parfait. Drizzle with the salted butterscotch sauce and apple gel, then decorate with the spun sugar curls and dried vanilla pods.
This is definitely a dessert that you can have prepared well ahead. The panna cotta can be made up to 2 days in advance and the apple tarts can be made up to 24 hours in advance if you toss the apples in a little lemon juice to prevent them from browning. You can have the apples poached and the crumble topping prepared 24 hours in advance. However, it’s best to assemble to order so that the crumble doesn’t lose any of its crunch and become soggy.
More by Neven Maguire:
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